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Guisborough (sister of President Edward Lytton Bulwer's (the late Francis A. West) rivalled her Grove- Lord Lytton) Eugene Aram, and by trained brother in setting or in solv- Thomas Hood's most powerful poem ing stiff algebraic problems.
The Dream of Eugene Aram. Already Mr. Nichols had also be- It
may well be questioned whether gun his career as a publisher and an The Leeds Correspondent was as suceditor and annotator of valuable cessful a commercial as a literary works which had dropped into com- undertaking. It is to be feared that parative oblivion. The first edition the chivalrous sentiment avowed in of Nesbit's Practical Mensuration, a the Prospectus, which was highly work which long dominated in the characteristic of Mr. Nichols, was public and private schools, at least left to a great extent to be its own in the North of England, bears on reward: Mercenary inducements the title-page of its First Edition, have had no share in the motives (1815,) 'Published by James Nichols, which have actuated, etc.? Leeds. Nesbit one of the
But the guiding cloud was lifting writers in The Leeds Correspondent from the banks of the Aire and was
It was highly characteristic of Mr. moving towards the Thames. The Nichols that the first two works to removal of Mr. Nichols from Leeds which his carefully-executed editions to London was connected with an recalled public notice were those of episode in Methodist history of some friends of Mr. Wesley: the first interest and significance. Methodism being The Poetical Works of John was now (1819) 'by reason of strength Byrom, M.A., F.R.S. To which fourscore years' old, and had thus far are added his Life, and Notes, by carried out its great mission without the Editor. The second was, The a newspaper. In January, 1819, Poetical Works of the late Rev. John the first experiment was ventured Gambold, A.M. To which is added on of a weekly journal which, the Life of the Author, with an whilst it did not bear the Methodist account of Ignatius and Polycarp : the name, should yet have a Methodist subject of Gambold's longest poem. proprietary, be under Methodist Both these works had a considerable management, be conducted on Methcirculation amongst Methodist readers, odist principles, and made subservient especially in Ministers' families. to Methodist objects. Its purpose But a far more popular book was was, nevertheless, as its
very title his next publication: The Interesting avowed, in a sense, and to an extent, Narrative of the Life of Olaudah political, though not partisan, except Equiano, or Gustavus Vasa, the that it belonged to the party of African. Written by Himself. He moral order. But it was certainly also published a translation from the neither Whig nor Tory, or, if either, French of the exquisite Letters of both. Its chief promoters belonged Madame de Sevigne : a translation to both the great parties. George of which an able writer has said, “It Morley was a decided Whig ; Richard has vivacity enough to put buoy- Watson was a pronounced Tory. It ancy into pigs of lead.' But the
was, in accordance with the spirit most important of his publications of Wesley himself, to be governabout this time, as an event in the mental in its sympathies. To this literary history of the first half of paper Mr. Jackson alludes in his the century, was his Trial of Eugene Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Aram, a resuscitation of a most ex- the Rev. Richard Watson, without traordinary yet strangely forgotten mentioning it by name : event. This was followed by Sir
"He (Mr. Watson) had united with
this : ‘Nothing will be admitted into several other persons likeminded with him.
its columns that is known to have self in the establishment of a weekly newspaper, partly religious, and conducted upon
any licentious or immoral tendency!' loyal and constitutional principles, to meet To the honour of Woodhouse the exigency of the times ; for it was felt Grove, in its earliest days, it must be to be a serious evil that pious families
recorded that Mr. Nichols took with should have no means of obtaining a knowledge of public affairs, except by the
him to London two Preachers' sons, perusal of papers many parts of which who had just finished their six years' were extremely objectionable in point of schooling, Levick Slack and J. M. sentiment, and some of which were even
Hare; both of whom he found of intended to bring all legitimate authority into contempt. The property of this paper
immediate service far beyond the was vested in persons of the Wesleyan range of mere tyroship in printing. denomination ; but the work was exten- He continued to print and publish sively patronized by clergymen and other The Leeds Correspondent; and Slack, pions individuals belonging to the Established Church. The columns of this
then only fifteen years of age, had journal not unfrequently contained articles this work solely in his own bands, wriiten by Mr. Watson, in which he always there being no journeyman in the appeared as the able and zealous advocate
metropolitan establishment competent of Government and of social order.'—Pp. 266, 267.--- First Edition.
to adjust the intricate 'rules' and
types necessary for the representation Several of the able Ministers then, of algebraical processes. This acstationed in London were Mr. Wat- complished Grove-lad at once proved son's principal coadjutors in this equal to work usually entrusted only enterprise, prominent among whom to the most skilled and highest paid were George Morley and Jabez compositors. Bunting. It was a time, as the his- Business was conducted in the tories tell, and as some still live to floors above the shop at No. 66, remember, of immense popular ex- Paternoster Row. But, alas! this citement. The Pastoral Addresses, first attempt at a Wesleyan newspaper from Conference after Conference, soon came to an untimely end : if, were weighty with warnings against indeed, it had not an untimely birth. disloyalty and political violence. It Mr. Nichols found that he had was therefore thought that, as infidel- undertaken to work a problem of ity and insubordination had entered much greater practical difficulty than into sworn alliance, religion and loy- any over the solution of which he alty should form a counter coalition. had presided as editor of The Leeds To the above-mentioned eminent Correspondent. He had to produce Ministers Mr. Nichols was personally a weekly journal which, whilst not well known. He was therefore re- altogether politically colourless, must quested to undertake the printing, at the same time respect and reprepublishing, and editing of the new sent the views of a denominational paper, which bore the title The constituency by no means of one Christian Reporter; or, Political, uniform political complexion. The Literary, Scientific and Miscel- Christian Reporter, in bringing laneous Intelligencer. It was pub- 'tidings to Zion,' must so modulate lished every Monday afternoon. its voice as not to disturb the sensiPrice Sevenpence.' What must have tive prepossessions of any class of been the state of journalism in the the community. Mr. Nichols had country at that date when the Chris- been the more readily induced to tian Reporter, conducted under such undertake the work by the promise auspices, found it necessary to give of the great Richard Watson to its subscribers such a pledge as —who, as editor of the Liverpool
Courier, had acquired wonder- closed. But one Monday morning ful facility in writing newspaper there came to the office a promised lerlers—to lend him, ever and again, leader, for which space had been left. the aid of his expert and forceful
This committed the paper pen. Mr. Watson, one of the most strongly expressed prejudging of the deliberate of Preachers, was one of
There was no time for remonthe most impetuous of newspaper strance or for consultation; hardly writers. Heavily preoccupied, as he time for the most hurried substituwas, he would dash off an article in tion of another leader. Mr. Nichols his study, or hurrying down to the had one grave editorial defect : he printiag office on the morning of the lacked a courageous caution in the very day of publication, would create exclusion of a compromising article copy currente calamo, the compositor by whomsoever supplied. And it retaking it leaf by leaf during the very quired the very prowess of prudence paroxysm of its production. Be- to reject a contribution so brilliant. treen Mr. Watson and Mr. Nichols The bewildered editor hesitated there was, in this respect, the strong- the last moment; and then, hoping est contrast. The latter wrote with that the eloquence of the leader labour, care, and hesitancy ; to use would condone its imprudence, the words of one who not seldom tremblingly, but desperately, put to watched the process, as often biting press. . It proved the death-warrant (be end of the pen as driving the of his Journal. A majority of the other over paper. But the former subscribers, whose sympathies and scarcely paused, except for a dip of of justice had alike been ink. It was easy to see from his shocked, forthwith dropped the Paper. manuscript where each heat of com- The proprietary felt that nothing position had started and where it was remained but to retreat as decorously spent, by the fine strokes at the be- as circunstances would permit.
An Jinning and the thick ones at the end, amalgamation was effected with, we as he mended or changed his fine- believe, the oldest religious newspointed goosequill. If he had made paper then existing in London, The a false start, and on reading his own Philanthropic Gazette, which at that prosuction did not like it, he would time was chiefly supported by the make no attempt at emendation, but Independent interest, and conducted would strike his impatient pen through under the auspices of Mr. Williams, aragraph after paragraph, and try an eminent London Independent. gain.
Not long afterwards this, too, colSo long as Mr. Watson kept in the lapsed, and was merged in another Turple haze of eloquent generalities religio-political paper, which, with oll went well. But a new excite- admirable frankness, announced itself ment, that resulting from the trial of The World. In due, but the Queen, supervened on the already very short time this again was ieverish state of the public mind. wrecked, through the persistent perIt was wisely resolved by the sonalities of its editor, Stephen Managing Committee that as, even in Bourne. A new metamorphosis was, Methodist circles, opinion on this however, effected, in The Patriot,* hurning question was both intense under the editorship of the elegant and divided, no judgment on the and accomplished Josiah Conder. case should be pronounced in The So short is the history and so long Christian Reporter until the trial the genealogy of the first Methodist
* Of which The English Independent is now the successor.
newspaper. The enterprise was more seemed all but identified. The old happily resumed after the interval of people listened to him as an oracle, about a decade, when another eminent and the little ones, though too young Methodist layman from Yorkshire, to apprehend even his plainness of Dr. Humphry Sandwith, came up speech and brightness of thought, yet to London to edit The Watchman. loved to look on his benevolently
Of course, the disappointment and beaming face and listen to his cheervexation of this conspicuous failure ful, fatherly tones. One charm of was as severe to Mr. Nichols as to Adam Clarke's preaching was the his employers ; but to him it came ascendency of kindly emotion over home more keenly, as it threw him strong and well-equipped intellect. once more on his bare resources as a He had the advantage too of a voice printer and publisher. Happily, of rare clearness and compass. His however, he had not long to wait for exuberant affectionateness broke out providential succour. Up to that in one of his characteristic mannertime the Book-Room had its own isms. Having pronounced the beneprinting establishment. This, how- diction, he would remain ever, it was found expedient to break moments in the attitude of blessing, up. Application was accordingly and opening his eyes, radiant with made to master-printers, on private good-will, would exclaim in bell-like account. Mr. Nichols was chosen, tones : ‘Go in peace ; and the God not only because of his well-known of peace go with you.' ability and high character ; but also Walter Griffith dropped lavishly by reason of his very exceptional the rich, ripe fruit of his kindly familiarity with the class of literature flourishing old age. Henry Moore and issued by the Book-Room. And how John Stephens still gave an impressive much more than a mere printer he representation of the patriarchal age was may be gathered from the record of Methodism. Jabez Bunting, then of Mr. Jackson, with reference to his in the fulness of his strength, dealt own appointment to the Connexional out his clear, convincing, one might editorship : With Richard Watson say commanding expositions, and his as a reviewer and my friend James overwhelming appeals, followed by Nichols as
a printer, critic and his heaven-storming supplications. adviser, I was thankful, and took There, too, was Richard Watson. courage.'
As he ascended the pulpit, the fabric It was in the palmy days of City- seemed to tremble with that holy awe Road Chapel that the bright yet which never failed to stir his great grave face, upright form, punctual spirit when he approached the throne attendance and devout demeanour of of the heavenly grace.
A solemn James Nichols became familiar to influence fell upon the congregation, the worshippers in that venerable as, in fullest sympathy with the sanctuary. The magnates of Meth- sacred poet, he gave out the hymn, odism appeared in its pulpit Sabbath in tones of chastened magnificence
. after Sabbath. The shrill, penetra- Then followed a prayer sublime in ting tones of Joseph Benson often adoration, profound in contrition and thrilled the close-packed audience. childlike in confidence. Of his Adam Clarke sustained nobly his preaching it were superfluous to universal and perennial popularity, speak. Then there was John James, which grew out of simplicity and with his fine voice and prepossessing warm reality, and that fulness of presence; the firm, warm grasp of conviction which ensures persuasive- whose hearty eloquence it was not ness. In him nature and grace easy to shake off ; and John Ander
son, whose oratory, in its highest Quaint, kindhearted, zealous Dr. moods, was like the careering spirit Hamilton would sometimes exchange wheels of Ezekiel's vision, 'a voice the pew for the pulpit : of whom it of a great rushing, saying, Blessed was said, in a sense the reverse of be the glory of the Lord from His sarcastic, “ His prayers are even more place;' and whose rhetoric 'ran and efficacious than his physic.' returned as the appearance of a flash Nor must the clerical ‘R ader' be of lightning. Joseph Taylor, the forgotten: thesimple-minded Thomas second of the names, atoned for a Vasey. Never did Owan, Anderhard, rigid manner, begot of consti- son, Watson or Bunting produce a tutional melancholy, by an experi- more thrillin's effect than did this mental preaching, strangely stimula- even-paced riderer of the Liturgy, ting, and steeped in heavenly unction. on the first Sunday morning after the John Burdsall, with his luminous funeral of his only son, whose 'late exegesis and transparent argumenta- repentance' Wit8 "not vain.' The tion, made the listeners feel how Second Lesson began with the Paraforcible are right words !'The pro- ble of the Libourers, and when the priety and solidity of Edmund bereaved father came to the point Grindrod blended well with the robust where those who entered the vineanimation and the thoughtful fervour yard at the clı veuth hour receive the and fulness of Thomas Jackson. same as thoss, who had • borne the
Then there were young men : John burden and heat of the day;' the Scott, with his measured cadences old man's voi e filtered, his lips quivand unimpassioned utterance, his ered, his feires Wtle convulsed; doctrinal instructiveness and his skill he bowed him urey head upon the in unfolding the deep things of God, blessed page and let full upon it tears balanced Peter M'Owan, volcanic in of grateful tenderness; and the conhis earnestress, in the down-rushing gregation wept aloud to see the agelava flood of exhortation and the stricken labourer pay thankful though detorating splendour of his illustra- tearful homose to the grace which tion, with an urrency of entreaty accepted and rewarded one hour' of which would not be said Nay, and a penitent and loving service. vehemence of manner which realized As to the City Road congregation the picture of his compatriot Knox, during this period, we need only refer as if ready to leap out of the pulpit our readers to the graphic article and lay hands on some evasive sinner. of Mr. T. P. Bunting in the City
Eminent Local Preachers also occa- Road Magazine for January 1871. sionally took turn with these dis- We will just add that in the Classes tinguished Ministers. At times there and in the l'emitent Prayer-meeting would appear in the pulpit the gaunt held in the Morning Chapel,' Mr. figure of Samuel Drew. Metaphysical, Nichols found 2 Methodism as ardent, even in his prayers, his delivery if not quite su vigorously articulated, formed a strange contrast to his as that of the West Riding; and in matter. He started at full gallop, the Lovefeasis, at least, the privileged like an aide de camp carrying orders negress Penelope lifted up her voice on the battle-field, never drawing with a fearlexs strength which could rein till he reached the close of his scarcely be surpassed in Leeds or sermon. But his simple religious Hull. earnestness breathed into his meta- Released from the toils and anxiephysics a vitality which arrested and ties of journalism, Mr. Nichols now impressed the least speculative minds. devoted to his favourite studies all
VOL. 11.-SIXTH SERIES.